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USF at Cincinnati Preview

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Good Morning V5ers! Your USF Bulls are in the Queen City to take on the 24th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats tonight at 7:00 PM. Game is on BHSN and for all those DirecTV and Dish Network members, the Full Court package is free this week, so you'll probably be able to get them on there as well. If you're driving or stuck at work, Jim Lighthall will get you through the night on 1250 WHNZ.

Coach Mick Cronin has relied on the same starting five for most of the season, so expect to see this lineup for the Bearcats:

PG: 6' Soph. Cashmere Wright (9.2 PTS/3.6 AST/2.2 REB/1.8 STL)

SG: 6'3 Jr. Dion Dixon (12.6 PTS/3.2 REB/1.9 AST/1.0 STL)

SF: 6'6 Sr. Rashad Bishop (8.5 PTS/3.6 REB/1.4 AST/ 1.1 STL)

PF: 6'11 Sr. Ibrahima Thomas (7.3 PTS/6.6 REB)

C: 6'9 Jr. Yancy Gates (12.1 PTS/7.2 REB/1.5 AST/1.6 BLK)

Thomas and Gates can get into foul trouble quickly, so expect to see 6'8 Fr. Justin Jackson (1.9 PTS/2.2 REB) and 6'7 Sr. Darnell Wilks (3.6 PTS/2.9 REB) out there tonight. 6.4 Fr Sean Kilpatrick (9.5 PTS/3.5 REB) is Cincinnati's first guard off the bench, and provides some instant offense when he's on the court. 6'3 Sr. Larry Davis (5.9 PTS/.9 AST) and 6'3 Soph. JaQuon Parker (1.9 {TS/2.3 REB/1.3 AST) rounds out the rotation, and gives Coach Cronin options if he wants to play a little smaller.

Cincinnati plays right into our hands when we are on offense. Cincinnati will run man to man defense most of the night, and the matchup of the night will be how Jarrid Famous, Augustus Gilchrist, and Ron Anderson Jr. do against Gates and Thomas. Gates will be entrenched in the paint, so that will mean Gus will be guarded by Ibra Thomas. Given Thomas' penchant for getting into foul trouble, Gus should get to the line 6-10 times tonight.

If Cincinnati's guards collapse to help when our posts have the ball, let's hope that Shaun Noriega and Jawanza Poland continue their strong play from the Louisville game, and hit the open shot.

When the Bulls are on defense, Cincinnati will try to have Dixon and Wright drive the lane to either create their own shot, or hand it off to Gates who is a great finisher down low. If there is some hope for the game, Wright is battling a knee and shoulder injury, and his play has suffered since he injured his shoulder against St. Francis. Sean Kilpatrick and Larry Davis are the only players on the roster that can shoot the ball from three, and even then only Davis has been doing it consistently over the past few weeks.

One more thing, please, please, please crash the boards. Gates and Thomas combine for 5 offensive boards a game, and their guards do a good job attacking the glass as well. Everyone will have to chip in on the defensive glass to hold Cincinnati to one possession.

So what happens tonight? I think the Bulls finally breakthrough and win a game. we've been thrashed on defense by team's who can shoot consistently from three, and the Bearcats just don't have anyone who can do that.

Bulls win 70-63